One great thing to come out of lockdown is the amount of art the children have been doing – not only have their drawing skills noticeably improved, but art always helps to diffuse difficult situations and calm everyone down. Some of the online offerings we’ve discovered have been brilliant, so I thought I’d share them here. Grab a pencil and join in.
Draw With Rob. Alfie and Kitty have done every single one of illustrator Rob Biddulph’s drawing classes, in which he shows how he creates one of his children’s book characters which they then customise. Find all the classes together on his website and be sure to sign up for the attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for largest online art lesson on Thursday at 4pm.
Sketchbook Superstars. Children’s book illustrator Leonie Shearing has been running daily classes at 2pm on Facebook since lockdown began. It’s a lovely, friendly group, with lots of interaction, and the children have been really impressed with what they’ve been able to achieve. Each week has a theme (think pets, aliens, under the sea, bugs) with scope for the children to suggest ideas for subjects and character names.
Crazy Comic Club. Comic artist James Parsons has just launched a series of Zoom workshops for lockdown – we’ve done three so far and they’ve all been fantastic. James knows exactly how to engage children – often with zombie kawaii unicorns and silly superheroes – and at just £3 per workshop per household, they’ve kept the children busy for over an hour – it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent!
Sketchbook Club. We’ve long been fans of Jennie Maizels’ Sketchbook Club – to be honest, I’ve loved creating her unusual ideas as much as the children! £4 will buy you step-by-step instructions and access to all manner of printable resources. If you’re a fan of colour, you shouldn’t miss these – I think my favourite was making these towns with newspaper-print clouds.
Ladyland Art Club. Designer Emma Scott-Child has some great classes over on her Instagram. They are now live every Wednesday at 2pm, but all the previous ones are in Highlights. A great mix of craft and art – we’ve made masks, banners, puppets, kites and packaging labels and tried our hand at still lifes, op art, self portraits and cubism.